Lessons In Living (From a Dead Woman)


Sometimes the death of who you are is not dramatic. There is no impact of twisting metal, or fist to your flesh. It may not be a heroic effort gone wrong, or a fistful of pills. It may not be due to an unforgivable drive by shooting, a robbery gone wrong or a slash too deep in your wrists. Sometimes you just watch yourself die; bloodlessly, silently, without a single tear.

And yet you’re still breathing.

You didn’t fight the quicksand as it sucked you down in the fine and infinite grains of sand-made of becoming less-one moment at a time. You let it swallow you as a frog lets itself boil to death degree by numbing degree, unaware of it’s impending demise until it’s too late to hop to freedom.

And you’re still boiling.

You lie with your life, with your words, with your smile, as your soul rests at the very bottom of that pit of quicksand. The dreams you had, along with any genuine laughter are lying right there with you, waiting to rot by your side. You fight the feelings of anger that flare with any false thoughts of freedom or happiness that try to stick to you as they pass by.

And you’re raging still.

You went silently into that good night. You didn’t realize you needed to fight, or set boundaries, or keep balance, or let your voice be heard. You just kept looking good, and sounding good, and making good impressions, and doing good for others, without giving a good goddamn shit that you were suffocating in the pretense you didn’t know to call out by name.

And you’re suffocating still.

This is the moment. This has the future of who you are NOT-hanging in the balance. You are lying, paralyzed, at the bottom of this pit of despair, and you have the power to rise. But to do so, you have to give a damn. You have to be willing to sit up, get to  your feet, raise your hands high, spit the sand out of your mouth and say “No. More.”.

You have to fucking mean it.

Go ahead and practice once or twice before you give the Rebel Yell. Before the world hears the Howl of the Wolf that has been hibernating inside of you for WAY TOO LONG.

You give yourself to Life the same way you died. You walk away from that relationship you walked into, you reject the job you deemed acceptable back in the day, you do what your heart says instead of the dumb ass unacceptable shit you thought you were “supposed to do”. You learn to Tango, to speak Italian as well as your mind. You listen to your feelings as you would listen to a beloved child.

You listen. You act. You live.

And you show others the Way.

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No Flowers


What if, during these apparently disturbing times of unrest, there was no one willing to smile for a moment? What if, during the storm of what’s coming, raining all over what is, there was no one to point out the rainbow of hope? What if the morning news kept beating us with political screw ups and forgot to share the stories of triumph, hope and perseverance? What if all we could see was the endless desert, blinded from seeing the beauty of the sunrise or sunset, it’s simplicity, or simply became numb to the dreams inspired by the flowers brave enough to bloom there?

I am weary and heartsick of being trapped in the quicksand of pessimism, discontent, and disbelief in humanity that I find myself surrounded with. Fighting against those who perpetuate this only causes their grip to become stronger, and me to sink faster into a depression I am unfamiliar with. It appears to do no good to explain that I can see what is so wrong without dwelling on it 24/7, or that I agree with much of the opinions that fly about~I’m just not willing to rage in a manner that hurts my cause of hope. I wondered just last night what would be expected of me if I were to be diagnosed with a terminal illness and given only a few months to live? Am I expected to weep and wail for the duration of my life at the unfairness or hopelessness of it all? Or would I be supported in any way in my attempts to enjoy and celebrate what time I had left in between my moments of weeping and wailing?

While I can’t answer that question, I can tell you that I don’t want any part of a world without love, compassion, hope, or flowers brave enough to bloom where they shouldn’t be able to. I won’t help create that world, and I’ll have no part in perpetuating it’s existence.  If we are doomed to a world of war, rioting, liars and lack of leadership, then I only have one thing to say:

Leave me alone.

Let me be.

Let me smile and laugh and joke while the fires that can’t be contained burn us to ash. If you’re right and the apocalypse is coming any day now then leave me to my singing, dancing, writing, dreaming, hoping, and loving where I can. Let the last thing somebody sees be my smile before being obliterated by Armageddon, the last thing they hear-my laugh, the last thing they feel-my heart wrapping around them so they know when all is said and done IT WILL BE OKAY.

I don’t want your world, and you don’t know how to believe in mine. That’s fine.

Just don’t pluck the flower that is brave enough to bloom in the desert and grind it under the heel of your anger.

Let the rainbow comfort somebody, even if it can’t be you. Let the flower bloom.

desert flowers rainbow

The Face of Death


Death opens a doorway I know that everyone will pass through to move from this life to the next. I don’t see her as an ugly frightening monster of terror, or as Brad Pitt in Meet Joe Black. I picture death as a mother welcoming her children at the door after a long, and sometimes dangerous adventure. I imagine a beautiful, wise, and loving face with kind eyes. I think she doesn’t always wait patiently by the doorway, I think she ventures out here and there to send out little memos to her beloved children that this life passes all too quickly. It could be the loss of a loved one, a frightening test result, or a horrible wreck with a miraculous survival story.

Sometimes she encourages me to live a truer, fuller life in something I read, a song I hear, a touching moment in a tv show or movie. Death is the bringer of life whether it be a transition to the next mystery, or a directive to live NOW. I appreciate every reminder, because I truly want to LIVE for the rest of my life. I want to throw myself into the adventure of discovering all there is in the time I have. I want to be and do everything I dream of.

I will not live my days as a pathetic little puppet, hopping back and forth at the whim of someone else’s plan. They can live their own dreams, as I plan to live mine. I can and will do what I chose with my life as our Creator presents me with the opportunities I have ignored so frequently in the past.

I have the power to stay or go. Say yes, or no. I can change my mind, my life, and rewrite my story. I’m not letting someone else do that for me~no way.

When I do greet death at that doorway, I hope to see a twinkle in her eyes and a curve to her lips that lets me know she really enjoyed the show, and admired my impromptu performances.

That’s the face I hope to see.